Tag Archives: planning

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

 

This week’s events for me are mostly Board meetings. The first is tomorrow – Writers Foundation meeting where we will be planning our annual conference among other things. The conference is a major event for the foundation and we are always delighted to welcome prestige presenters. The event is open to members and non-members and is always an enjoyable and informative day.

Writers Foundation Strathcona CountyWeb ACCSC Logo

On Wednesday I will be chair for the Arts & Culture Council board meeting and again there will be planning to commence for our 150 year Canada celebration in the summer.

Both boards enable me to indulge in the arts and spread the word in and around our locality.

Do you belong to a board? How does it help you and your community?

Gallery 501, Sherwood Park – Exhibit

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“Canadianisms: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada” by Brandy Saturley

January 6 – Feburary 26, 2017
Saturley paints Canadian Contemporary Realism. Making art for over thirty years, and painting in acrylics for fifteen. Saturley gained national attention with her paintings inspired by Canadian culture and sport including goalie masks, Canadian athletes, the Canadian flag, the Montreal Canadiens, Alberta Rockies, and Canadian wildlife.

Other writing events:

The Galiano Island Literary Festival, which will kick the new season February 17–19 with authors including Gail Anderson-Dargatz, Carmen Aguirre, Janie Chang, Anosh Irani, Jennifer Manuel, Heather O’Neill, Bev Sellars, and Yasuko Thanh.

Please share your local writing events here.

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours…


events

After meeting the new Writer in Residence yesterday, I will send him an invite to speak at our next writing meeting of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County on 7th February. Richard van Camp is a personable, funny and engaging personality with a drive to help other writers succeed. I feel his residency will propel many writers to publication. I may send him a few pages of my current work in progress too – it is always good to get new perspectives of your work.

http://www.sherwoodparknews.com/2016/12/05/creative-writer-in-residence

My other appointment yesterday was with a new freelance writing client. An interesting concept that will take several months of collaboration.

This coming week I have two board meetings. The first is with the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and we will set out event dates and new programs/projects for the year. This will include the annual conference, a writing retreat and the annual Words in the Park.

The second meeting is of the Arts and Culture Council of Strathcona County – detailing plans for our Arty Party to be held on 21st January and planning for other events later in the year, which will include a summer BBQ celebrating diversity, culture and Canada’s 150 birthday.

https://www.facebook.com/events/407736716231777/  Arty Party

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What events do you have planned for January? Care to share?

 

Living Alternatives – Other Options Part Two…


3. A Van

A van can be converted into a small living space.You will have the benefit of moveability, changing scenery, being your own boss and traveling whenever you wish.

The cost of conversion can be high and technically challenging for anyone with no mechanical expertise. However, there are ready-made options available.

As you can see from this link it can be done. http://tinyhousetalk.com/couple-two-dogs-traveling-stealth-tiny-house/

4. A Yurt

yurt

A traditional yurt is a round, semi-permanent tent lived in by Mongolians and fashioned from natural skins. Modern day yurts do not adhere to these methods although the shape and concept are the same but utilize hi-tech materials for to accommodate temperature variations and conditions and are normally stationary.

They are sturdy buildings and due to the circular shape retain heat well and with a steeper pitch on the conical roof can repel downpours of rain well. Modern yurts are not cheap to purchase so this option is one to consider. You also need to ensure you have a permanent site on, which to live unless you opt for a traditional yurt and dismantle and reassemble regularly.

5. A Double Decker Bus

A double decker bus can be converted into a moveable or fixed home, depending on your choice. It is surprisingly spacious once the seats are taken out.

You will need mechanical, electrical and plumbing expertise (or knowledgeable friends) to make this option possible. The conversion cost is quite high so planning your layout is paramount prior to starting the build. Also, if you are traveling the cost of gas can be high so factor that into your budget.

Which one of these options would you prefer?

 

Interview with Elaine Spencer…


Please welcome Elaine Spencer – Elaine Spenceran author of historical fiction.

1. What do you enjoy most about writing?
As a writer of fiction, I enjoy escaping to a make believe world where I am in control.  I also like that I’m constantly learning in a way that I enjoy.
2. What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I started getting into writing as a form of self-expression and healing when I was in high school.  It began as journaling then, as I learned more about myself and the world, ideas just started to grow.

3. Has your genre changed or stayed the same?

It has changed from writing for myself to writing for others in a more technical form to writing historical fiction for pleasure, which is what I enjoy most.

4. What genre are you currently reading?

Historical fiction and biographies.

5. Do you read for pleasure or research or both?

Although most of my reading these days is for research, I love reading just for pleasure.  There’s nothing like going on a mini vacation from daily life by getting lost in a good story.

6. Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

I have a wonderful list of family and friends who support and encourage but my husband and sister are definitely at the top.
7. Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

There is a lot of myself in the character of Charlotte Logan (Charlie) but one of my favorite characters is Percival Meade because he starts out snooty, annoying and with many flaws but turns out to be likeable and a little more humble while staying true to who he is.

 8. Where is your favorite writing space?

I have a home office with everything I need including a writing desk and comfortable reading corner.

desk

9. Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants writer?
I create a basic outline where I decide on the setting, plot, main characters and so forth.  Once the writing process actually begins, changes develop, new characters step in and the story unfolds.

10. What inspires your ideas/stories?
Inspiration is all around but we have to go looking for it.  Books, music, news, observing people, traveling, nature, personal experiences and good old imagination are some of the places where I find inspiration.

11. Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

I joined a local group but found that with an outside job, research, and writing, I couldn’t commit to a scheduled time so found an online source that suits my needs and allows more flexibility to share and critique with other writers, access workshops and participate in forums.
12. If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?
There are so many writers to learn from and even more I’ve never read but I love the way authors like John Steinbeck have mastered their use of description, dialogue, and creating believable characters.
13. Do you have a book(s) published? If so, what is it called & where can readers purchase it?
Freedom Reins is a historical fiction available through a variety of sources including Amazon, friesenpress.com, and itunes.

Freedom Reins

14. Where can readers find you and your blog?

My website is http://www.e-spencer.com
15. Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?
I’m currently researching and have begun some writing for another historical fiction.

Thank you Elaine for the insight into your writing journey.

Can You Give Up Your Day Job For A Writing Life ..?


struggling_writer

I found an interesting article today regarding the constant dilemma of many authors – stay in a job to pay the bills or leap into a writing life full-time. As some of you may know, I started a freelancing business, with a long term plan, this year. So far I have made headway but it is a steep learning curve. With a few regular clients already I am happy with my modest progress but more work is always welcome – any time.

There are numerous web sites pro-porting to assist the novice freelancer but tread carefully as many are only interested in selling you books, or other promotional items. Networking is the best way to find the answers to your questions so utilize your local and social media contacts.

http://www.alanrinzler.com/blog/2014/06/11/how-authors-support-their-writing-dreams/

So are these tips helpful in making that decision?

http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/10-questions-writers-must-ask-before-quitting-their-day-job

http://www.desertroserwa.org/writersguide/Romance-Writers’-Guide-Writing-Quit-Day-Job.php

Have you made the leap yet?

What plans do you have for a writing life?

Can you share tips on how to live by writing alone?

Quotes

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. ―Jim Rohn

Believe in yourself. Have faith in your abilities. Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. ―Norman Vincent Peale

FunDay

Today’s prompt is to envisage your life as a full time writer. Where will you live? What will your writing space look like? What kind of writing will you do?

Give your vision as much detail as you can – then follow that desire. The power of suggestion is just that – powerful.

I would love to see your answers so feel free to share them here.

My ideal? Living between Italy, England and Canada. Writing all genres with many more published novels and articles covering numerous topics published in magazines, newspapers and on websites.

 

 

Limit Your Exacerbation…


Exacerbate – definition : 1. to increase the severity, bitterness, or violence of something (e.g. a disease, ill feeling, etc.) : aggravate; 2. to embitter the feelings of person; irritate; exasperate

hands-up

Hands up who feels this during National Novel Writing Month towards almost everyone or anything that stops you writing?

Even the simplest or quickest tasks aggravate us. It is time away from our words, those precious darlings we need to flow from our minds onto screen or paper. We try to disguise our exasperation but our tense muscles and quickening pulse are sure signs we are not happy. This is why we need to make preparations before November 1st.

Fill the freezer, plaster ‘I’m Writing!’ signs everywhere. Escape to the library, coffee shop or anywhere the kids can’t find you. Tell the family the laundry fairy is on strike as well as the housemaid. If they need anything they’ll have to do it themselves.

nano tip

Here are some differing views on NaNoWriMo survival tips:

http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/files/ywp/nano_ywp_getting_ready_e_0.pdf

http://writingbyflashlight.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/the-nanowrimo-survival-kit/

http://thewriteditor.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/the-ultimate-nanowrimo-survival-guide/

http://www.writinggooder.com/2013/10/nano-survival-kit/

http://poppywritesabook.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/nanowrimo-survival-guide-my-top-9-tips-for-success/

How do you cut off from distractions?

nanowrimo_laptop_sticker_by_mopotter-d4dwzei

Irregularity in Social Media – Let’s Clear the Blockage…


Wayward – definition: disobedient; turning or changing irregularly; irregular

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Let’s start with a problem a great many writers/authors face – the consistency of our social media presence. We are encouraged (read expected) to have a platform and engage our readers on a constant basis. So how can the majority of us do that? Holding down a day job, a  home, family commitments, some sort of social life, and the time to write, limits our ability to have the presence we are ‘required’ to have. The result is an irregularity of posts, blogs, tweets and so forth.

The answer is different for everyone because all of us have restrictions on our time to varying degrees. How can we change the irregular into the regular? Here are two scenarios:

Tom – He works full time, is married with three kids ( 6yrs, 10 yrs and 13 yrs), his wife works part-time, and they live in a 4 bed roomed house with a large yard. The majority of his weekdays are taken up with work, helping get the kids to and from school and their activities as well as looking after them when his wife is working evenings. Weekends are more kid related activities and yard work.

Angela – She is married, has one child (8 years old) and works full time. Her husband works away a lot leaving her with household and yard chores for the majority of the time as well as looking after their child.

So where can they fit in writing and social media? The trick is to find periods when there is less demand for their involvement.

Tom – travels by train to and from work – he can write and ‘blast’ social media while travelling. Evenings when his wife is at home he can ‘escape’ to his writing space for an hour or two.

Angela – Her child’s school bus picks up thirty minutes before she needs to leave for work – writing or social media time. When her husband is home she allots an hour or two during his time off to her writing.

Obviously these are fictitious characters, but hopefully it gives you an idea how time can be managed. A routine of posts on social media can be created as long as the frequency is workable for your schedule. Look at when (date in the month, time of day etc.) works best for you and make it your ‘writer/author’ time. Personally, I found drafting blog posts in advance has helped me a great deal…no mad panic each morning thinking of a subject.

Care to share your writing time tips?

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Take a look at these links:  http://www.theguardian.com/edinburgh/2011/apr/14/edinburgh-sara-sheridan-digital-rights

http://www.copyblogger.com/time-management-writing/

And for a little perspective in rhyme.

http://rhymeandareason.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/wayward-journey/

Graphic from: http://szwordsmith.com/

Planning blog posts…


Igneous – definition: formed from fire; especially said of rock formed from fiery magma

untitledNow it might seem that this is a tenuous link to Tracey’s post on blog planning but bear with me. Our ideas for stories and blog subjects are igneous. In that, a spark of an idea spurts forth and becomes its own entity, growing in width and breadth. To engage our readers we need to ignite their curiosity and interest in our words.

My current blog mission, utilizing a desk diary word of the day for the duration of 2013, requires a great deal of thinking and commitment. However, having made such a obligation I have found it has certainly caught my imagination and stretched my writing muscles. Not a bad thing for a writer – wouldn’t you say?

Although I try hard to write a couple of posts ahead of time, sometimes the idea does not fire up immediately and then I have to dig deep. Tracey’s post on her planning strategy gave me some ideas even though I do not use Scrivener.

http://traceyambrose.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/blog-planning-with-scrivener/

While I was researching I also found this post, which also aids the process.

http://www.quicksprout.com/2012/10/29/a-simple-plan-for-writing-a-powerful-blog-post-in-less-than-2-hours/

How do you plan your blog posts? Any tips you would care to share?

What kind of writer are you?


Audacious – definition: 1) very bold and daring : fearless 2) showing a lack of proper respect

I want to share a super post with you all today and a great quote.

http://confidentwriting.com/2009/05/01/the-untold-power-of-audacious-writers-guest-post-by-deb-boyken/

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“Writing makes a person very vulnerable. It opens you to public criticism, to ridicule, to rejection. But it also opens conversation and thought. It stirs minds, and touches hearts. It brings us into contact with our souls. So how can it possibly be a waste of time, an idle act, a mistake, a betrayal of truth? Who can possibly tell us not to do it?”

Joan Chittister, Order of Saint Benedict

It’s Your Passion – Take Charge of It…!


Finding something that excites and engages you is a rare gift. For writers (published or not!) the ability to immerse ourselves into words and create entire worlds with them is truly wonderful. No matter which genre or genres you write, you are the creator, manipulating  characters, plots, story arcs and more. Techniques are as diverse as there are writers and authors. I free flow 90% of the time but planning your story has its merits as well as I am finding out with my latest project, Ockleberries to the Rescue. (The result of last year’s National Novel Writing Month challenge) Just remember to listen to that little voice; your muse; as stories can become an entity all their own, bringing new details, characters and story lines into play.

There are many of us who have to ‘fit in’ our writing time into day jobs, family life and other distractions but I have found if you ‘AVOWAL‘ your passion, you can organize proper writing time – more importantly uninterrupted writing time.

So for those of you who have not heard of the word AVOWAL – it is today’s desk calendar word. The definition is ‘an open declaration or acknowledgement’. May I suggest you declare your need for writing time and explain it isn’t a passing fad, a little hobby or unimportant. Time for yourself is important and given the opportunity it will make you happier and therefore make their lives happier. (It isn’t really blackmail – is it?)

deadline

Another important part of a writer’s life is finding a group or writing circle, where you can share your passion, give and receive support and encouragement. My group has changed my life dramatically and I can say I will never leave! We have local but also virtual members, who are spread across Canada, America, Australia and Europe. Our web site gives everyone access to writing challenges, the opportunity to share our work, receive feedback and even has a  chat feature! http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com

If you don’t have a circle or indeed would love to start one, may I suggest a couple of books to help you start?

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/products/get-set-boost-your-writing-journey

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Take charge of your writing life…it is your creative outlet.